On the one hand, the National Post's Don Martin gets it (emphasis for various amusements added):
Martin: Canadian base becoming a favoured destination for politicians under fire
A strange new pattern of Canadian political behaviour is gaining momentum - when under heavy fire, flee to Kandahar.
The base for 2,500 Canadian troops has become the runaway photo op of choice for the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and government MPs trying to duck the harsh glare of their own poll-driven frailties and foibles back home...
The highlight of the first day was Mr. Harper visiting the same school where two of his ministers had already posed for pictures on separate visits. The school for the underprivileged received $39,500 from Canada last year, precisely matching the cost of Canadian International Development Agency Minister Jose Verner's visit with students there last October.
The only difference seemed to be that Mr. Harper gave the students pencil cases to put into the backpacks handed out by Ms. Verner...
These prime ministerial trips are logistical and security nightmares, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to fly politicians and their entourages halfway around the world to give the appearance of personal risk while wrapped inside a protective military bubble.
And the sheer number of politicians flying into Kandahar in the last year has undoubtedly inconvenienced the military base in hosting a blitz that smacks more of damage control for the Conservatives than morale-boosting for the troops...
Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor has been to Kandahar three times with every trip taking off across the Atlantic just ahead of a rumble of calls for his resignation in the House of Commons. He was there just two months ago and is back there with the Prime Minister now...
If the Prime Minister and his ministers could report real progress, articulate a pressing reason to be there and actually listen to soldiers instead of unleashing the contrived rah-rah of their political thunder, there could be an argument to support their military manoeuvres.
If MPs went into the field of operations, visiting the forward lines to see the military's equipment, or lack thereof, in action, there could be acquired military intelligence.
But given they mostly stay inside heavily fortified zones, file no reports on the result of their visits and wrap the costs in the hazy transparency and hidden accountability that are quickly becoming the hallmarks of this government, they become a legitimate target.
And then there's the entertaining pontifications of the junior high school set:
Nothing wrong with Afghanistan Visit.
Frankly, I think Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Afghanistan shows exactly what type of committed leader this individual is when it comes to our military...
Why the criticism? Because the Prime Minister cares?
The Canadian Cynic: because after we report on how the grown-ups feel, it's only reasonable to point out what the 8-year-olds are thinking as well.
It's what we call being "fair and balanced."
Didn't Winston Churchill visit the troops?
I think Lincoln did too. And Reagan. (Sigh) that Harper, he's so noble...
Wouldn't it be cheaper if we (the Cdn taxpayer)owned a big garage in Ottawa, with great backdrops, where Dear Leader and his associates could just have their photo ops taken. So, say, things were getting hot in Ottawa and Stevie needed a picture of himself giving directions to the troops, he could just pop over to the Big Garage and get his picture taken. We could really save a lot of money on travel expenses with this. Because, lets face it, when you see Dear Leader in Kabul with his flack jacket on, don't you just want to start giggling. (I always think Air Farce.)
FWIW I think that these secret flights into war zones are just bulls**t.
Of course you would(anon @1:15)...you are sitting real cozy at your computer...so I don't really care what you think about the visit. The ones that matter, the troups, are the ones that count, and I bet they wouldn't call this 'bs'. You are probably suffering those Lib delusions of grandeur and think the world revolves around you, but hello! No...the PM did not do this for you...he did it for the troups and because it was the right thing to do...I know...you really wanted him to discuss this before he left but some day you will realise that you are not that important in the whole scheme of things.
You just keep cozy in that bubble and dream about the day that Dion does EVERYTHING for YOU!
Maybe you can take a break from illlerately spouting CPC propaganda and learn how to spell "troops," moron.
crimminy, the troups (sic) are the ones that matter. granted, so rather than pissing away a big bag of money so that harper can gad about in a flack jacket, how about we reconsider the policies that the troops are carrying out. how about we return to our long standing military policy of peace keeping rather than ill considered combat. how about we engage in rebuilding infrastructure, rather than engaging in fantasies of might and tanks at twice the stated price.
and since the troops matter so much to the cheerleader cult, what possible benefit do the troops derive from the presence of prime minister pop'n'fresh? after all, the visit of a national leader to the war zone requires an extraordinary uptick in security measures and stress making those troops an even more valuable target for the duration of the visit. do the troops get the bonus morale from knowing that the pm is a big brave mensch, as he visits in full flight from his own nation's press corps?
how about we curtail visits by the helplessly inept leaders of the minority government and focus our efforts and cash on doing some good for the people of afghanistan and trying to actually win the hearts and minds. a perpetual combat stance is the surest way to empower the taliban and encourage resentment against our troops and the coalition forces on the ground. how about big steve and the kids sit their pasty rumps down in ottawa and do something useful for a change.
Post a Comment